Sunday, August 15, 2021

Lessons from Sunday School (Little Heavier Version Volume 1 Edition 5)

 Today I had a roomful for Children's Church. Aged 6 to 18, it's sometimes hard to come up with a lesson that meets all of their developmental levels. My heart is with the middle schoolers and high schoolers, I guess because middle school was such a hard time for me and then for the majority of my adult life I was tagging along behind buses full of high school girls. 

Today I taught from John 16:33, Romans 8, and Genesis 50:20. It's not your usual Sunday School lesson, but I want to share the main points with you today. 

We are living in what many consider to be a unique time, but we're told in Ecclesiastes that "there is nothing new under the heavens", so really we are probably going through the same things that generations before us went through; now we just have the technology and ease of information to take on the weight of the world instead of just our own little pocket. I do honestly believe we are living in "end day", because it seems the labor pains are growing closer and closer. More tragedy. More heartaches. More confusion. 

When I was young, I didn't want to think about living in the "end times". I can remember having a dream when I was in high school and waking up so scared. I had dreamed about the rapture, and saw people going up in the air, and I was left behind... but I also had conflicting feelings. I wasn't "homesick". I had things I wanted to do, and I didn't want to think about those things not coming to fruition because I was in Heaven. Selfish, hmm? Remember that's natural for a teenager... 

I also don't remember feeling overwhelmed like so many of our kids are today. Oh, sure, I was full of teenage angst, and was insecure, but I didn't obsess about worries. 

We are a worrying society. 

Jesus tells in John 16::, "In this world you will have trouble." Not too promising there, when you think about it. 

The heartache you're facing. The sickness you're loved one has just been diagnosed with. Your confusion about your life situation. 

You should have seen them coming.. but even though we KNOW we will have trouble, it doesn't mean we should allow these troubles to overcome us. 

Jesus goes on to say, "Take heart. I have overcome the world."

Before I was born, before any troubles came my way, Jesus overcame the world. And because He overcame the world, He allows me to be victorious in my battles. That doesn't mean that things will always work out as I want them to. It just means that I can have peace when I am troubled because He is my peace. 

I had everyone write down things that made them sad on a piece of paper. We then talked about how God can use those things for good, and how Joseph had many trials but it was for the saving of "many lives". I told them that they may not be able to imagine it now, but that all those things that made them sad can be worked for good if they love Jesus. 

Friend, you may need to hear that, too. Life is hard, and unfair, and we don't understand why bad things happen to good people. I don't understand the tension that is present when I think of God being in control but bad things still happening. Our world is reeling right now and I know it makes Him just as sad as it does me, but He has given us free will. We can't explain it, and it still leaves a bad taste in my mouth, but I am trying to trust Him more. 

Romans 8:18, "For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us."

Your sorrow, your troubles and trials, are temporary. As I type this, I'm reminded of an old spiritual we sang once in chorus, "Soon Ah I will be done with my troubles... going home to live with God. No more weepin' and a wailin'"'

I'm not going to tell you to make lemons out of lemonade or to make the most out of whatever you are facing. I'm not going to offer platitudes, because some of you are going through some heavy stuff. I am just going to tell you that Jesus knows. He loves you. And may you find peace in Him. 

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